Carolina at Washington

Ovechkin helps Capitals to seventh consecutive win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Matt Hendricks even overshadowed Alex Ovechkin in the Washington Capitals' seventh straight victory.

Hendricks put the Washington ahead by hustling to put in a rebound after Ovechkin tied it early in the third period in the Capitals' 2-1 comeback victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
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It was Hendricks' eighth goal of the season, and his first in 18 games.

"He's going to get those dirty goals in the crease," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I'm happy for him, because he works really hard all the time so he deserves some success offensively now and again."

Washington has beaten Carolina in all five tries this season.

Hendrick's goal came after Washington killed off Jason Arnott's hooking penalty and Arnott ended up with a breakaway chance after coming out of the penalty box. Ward went to the ice to save Arnott's shot, but the puck bounced off and Hendricks skated in to score.

"If there was going to be a rebound, I wanted to be the one to get it," Hendricks said. "I just wanted to try to get it over his pad."

The Hurricanes looked like they may have tied the game with just over two minutes left. Braden Holtby saved a Cory Stillman shot and started to trap the puck. The puck came out and Jay Harrison slapped it into the net, but the officials had already blown the play dead.

"There's no explanation for that," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "He had his whistle in his mouth before the puck even got close to his glove. ... It's pretty costly."

The Hurricanes are two points behind the New York Rangers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu scored late in the second period to briefly give his team the lead. His shot from the left circle got past Holtby with 36 seconds left in the period.

"I thought we had enough chances to score more goals than one," Ruutu said. "I didn't think we played a bad game, we just didn't finish it."

Cam Ward made 24 saves for Carolina, including several big stops to keep the game scoreless in the first two periods.

"Cam Ward's one of the best goalies in the league. That's enough said. He's a great goaltender," Hendricks said. "We knew we had to keep going to net, going hard, put as many shots on him as we could and we'd get a bounce here or there, and we did."

Ovechkin made Carolina's lead short-lived after the break, scoring 47 seconds into the third period. Marcus Johansson brought the puck past the blue line and made a touch pass behind him to the trailing Ovechkin, who shot the puck past Ward for his 28th of the season.

"He fired one really off his back foot, and snaps a rocket right into the joint of the net," said Washington forward Mike Knuble, who also had an assist on the play. "You can't fault Cam Ward there at all. It's unstoppable, really."

Ovechkin has scored at least one point in each of his past seven games, and 11 of the last 12. He has four goals and seven assists in the seven-game streak.

Holtby stopped 40 shots to get the win two days after his first career shutout, a 5-0 win against Edmonton.

Washington is now two points behind Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference lead and is on its best run of the season as the playoffs approach.

"I think we're all happy it's not November right now or December throwing this streak together," Knuble said. "I think we want to really start playing well towards the end of the year."

Notes

  • Washington C Nicklas Backstrom sat out his second straight game because of a left hand injury, the first games he has missed in his four-year career. Backstrom played in his first 313 games, the third-longest streak in Capitals history.
  • Carolina is 21-1-0 this season when leading after two periods.
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Alexander Ovechkin ties it for Washington with his 28th goal of the season and has points in seven straight games. (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin ties it for Washington with his 28th goal of the season and has points in seven straight games. (AP)

Scoreboard
Carolina (31-27-10)0101
Washington  (39-20-10) «0022
Three Stars
M. Hendricks
WAS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Holtby
WAS


Saves: 40
Save Pct.: .976
C. Ward
CAR


Saves: 24
Save Pct.: .923
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
19:24 - Tuomo Ruutu (16), Snap Shot. Assist: Stillman, Allen
3RD PERIOD
47.0 - Alex Ovechkin (28), Snap Shot. Assist: Johansson, Knuble
07:24 - Matt Hendricks (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Arnott
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
08:56Fehr, 2 min, Holding
12:54Chimera, 2 min, Interference
14:09Skinner, 2 min, Hooking
19:17Staal, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
55.0Semin, 2 min, Slashing
3RD PERIOD
05:14Arnott, 2 min, Hooking
14:45Bradley, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
 123T
CAR13121641
WAS910726
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Cam Ward58:17242
Braden Holtby60:00401
Game Information
Attendance - 18398
Referees - Steve Kozari, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Brad Lazarowich, Brian Murphy
 
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